mens the north face Auburn veteran faces prison after admitting he menaced couple
AUBURN James Knight said his memories of the day he struck a police officer with a bucket and threatened a couple with a baton are vague.
Despite the haze clouding the incident, the 29 year old Auburn veteran who reportedly wrangles with addiction and wounds suffered during his two tours in Iraq does not doubt that he committed the crimes.
Knight pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in Cayuga County Court to second degree assault and third degree criminal possession of a weapon. The two felony pleas satisfied the other charges on his 11 count indictment.
“I’m not contesting any of the (district attorney’s) statements or the indictment before me,” he said.
If he successfully completes inpatient treatment, Knight faces serving four years in prison and five years of post release supervision.
In the months following his Jan. 6 arraignment, Knight has appeared in court multiple times as attorneys and advocates worked to find him a secure treatment center for veterans. Simon Moody, Knight’s attorney, told Judge Mark Fandrich on Tuesday that his search had been frustratingly fruitless.
Moody said there are no secure treatment centers for veterans in the Northeast, a situation he called “tragic.” However, he said he was positive Knight would not abscond from the non secure treatment center he will soon be transferred to.
“I have confidence, having spent a considerable amount of time with my client, that he will comply,” Moody said.
With the plea agreement on the record,
Knight moved forward.
Although he said he can’t completely remember what happened on Dec. 6, 2014, Knight admitted using a collapsible baton a baton he noted is also carried by local officers to threaten a couple. Knight had followed the couple to Generations Bank on North Seward Avenue.
After using the baton and his fists to dent the vehicle, Knight drove away from the bank and toward his 9 Perry St., Apt. 1 home.
An Auburn Police Department officer pulled Knight over on Perry Street following the road rage incident. Knight got out of his vehicle and argued with the officer striking the officer in the face with a plastic bucket when the officer attempted to arrest him.
The assault split the officer’s chin and required stitches.
While efforts to subdue Knight with pepper spray and a Taser initially failed, the eight officers who responded to the scene were eventually able to take Knight into custody. He reportedly possessed synthetic marijuana and a sword at the time of his arrest.
Jamar Coger apologized for multiple reasons at sentencing including for helping fuel Cayuga County’s heroin epidemic.
Coger, 28, also apologized to his family and son, stating he would have to earn back his reputation after selling and possessing heroin. The Auburn man asked for a treatment based sentence, stating his stint in the Cayuga County Jail had helped lead him “from the path of destruction.”
Coger was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison and two years of post release supervision for two counts of third degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and one count of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all felonies.
In lieu of a surcharge, he agreed to forfeit the $652 in cash discovered in his Scottish Inn Suites room on June 11,
2014. The Finger Lakes Drug Task Force also found a pit bull puppy and 237 individually packaged bags of heroin in Coger’s Grant Avenue room.